8 years ago

Volume 6 Issue 1 - September 2000

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  • September
  • Toronto
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  • Theatre
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  • Wholenote

t t COVER STORY show; I

t t COVER STORY show; I was in New York for two years arranging and conducting on Broadway; I produced the entertainment at Expo '67; was music director of the Imperial Roomat the Royal York for 12 years; and have been the arranger for the Canadian Brass for years - I've done between 80 and 90 arrangements for them." "Now I guest~conduct, . mostly pops concerts, all over the place - Symphony Nova Scotia in Halifax, Orchestra London, the symphony orchestras in Kitchener-Waterloo, Windsor, Calgary, Vancouver and Edmonton, the Scarborough Ph,ilharmonic Orchestra, which I will be conducting next in November· and, of course, the Hannaford Street Silver Band's concert next month. I also do all the arrangements and the conducting for Sharon, Lois and Bram's symphony concerts - I'll be doing one of those in Winnipeg next month too.'~ His audiences, he says are all over 50 or under 6! "One thing I've learned is never to repeat myself. If some one · comes up after the concert and says he heard something on the program at last year's concert, then that person will probably not be at next year's!" University Settlement nustc & Arts Scbool Establlsbe

ALLAN PuLKER PROFILES Musician. in our midst A musician as long as she can remember, Heidemarie Garbe haslearned and taught many instruments since her graduation in organ performance from · Oberlin Conservatory of Music in 1970. She is a certified Suzuki Method teacher and has produced a tape of music for flute and harp. Her approach to teaching has been shaped by her spiritual journey and many years of meditation, as she has sought to bring together music and spirituality to help the growth and development of the youn~. HEIDEMARIE GARBE Her method is as effective as it is original. In their first year with her, children learn not .one but five instruments - violin, cello, harp, piano/keyboard and recorder, spending about eight weeks on each. Each term consists of six weeks of private instruction on an instrument, after which they come together as an orchestra, in which all five instruments are represented and the children play the music they · learned in their private instruction - Twinkle Twinkle Little Star and Pachelbel's famous Ka,non. The stimulation of playing together, of hearing harmony and of working with other students provides a terrific sense of accomplishment, which tends to motivate the students, some as young as four years, to continue. In the orchestra the children also do eurhythmics, which help them to "feel the heartbeat of the music", skill games like walking a "labyrinth" while playing and a few meditative minutes to make a connection with the inner source of music at the end of each session. By the end of their first year each student has learned the same music five times on five different instruments. At this point those who wish to continue select an instrument to which they commit themselves for the 'whole second year of the program, which will be at about the level of book one of the Suzuki books and in which they play in her 'level two orchestra. Another ~f Heidemarie's innovations is the use of colour to teach music-reading .. After ten years of work as a .piano teacher and despairing at the difficulty of teaching students to read, she developed a method of using colours to name the notes as an alternative to the usual first seven letters of the alphabet. She assigns the colours of the rainbow, red, orange, yellow etc. to the notes of the C major scale, and · related colours to the "sharps" and "flats", (turquoise for f# for example between f, which is blue and g, which is green). Since she started doing this, teaching has "become more joyful anci has allowed miracles to happen." Children find it very direct and easy to comprehend and so are much happier than they were using the conventional terms. She even used it to help an adult, a woman who had ha·d a bad experience learning piano as a child and who wished for nothing more than to be able to play the first moveme'nt of Beethoven's Moonlight Sonata. She learned it in a month! With. sixty students, hoi..vever, Heidemarie is working at more than full capacity, and so wishes now to begin teaching her method to other teachers and to write a book about it. Musical notation, she observes, like language, is always changing. Perhaps her innovation is the latest leap. DAWN LYONS GOES Behind the Scenes • IN THE PIT WITH ALAN MoLITZ May 10th I talked to bass player Alan Molitz. Normally my colleague Allan Pulker writes about the Musicians in our Midst and I write about the people nobody sees Behind the Scenes but Alan Molitz is pretty close to invisible - he's an opera pit musician. Okay, okay, so he's under the scenes. Me: Alan, you are the principal double bass of the Canadian Opera Company Orchestra, T'ight? · Alan grins: That's during the opera season. For one more night (May 10, 2000) I'm the ONLY bass player in Toronto Operetta Theatre's My Fair Lady. After that I'll be nobody µntil the COC starts rehearsing again in the fall. Me: Nothing lined up? No festivals or anything? That's a long time between pay cheques. · Alan shrugs: Anybody who makes music as a life's work is crazy. It's hard and it doesn't pay well, you can't do it without a lot of personal investment, and regardless of how hard you work, there are no guarantees. Me: What's the difference between a pit musician and a symphony musician? Alan: For people to know what it's like being in the pit during an opera, it's like being inside a pinball machine. I've been a symphony musician; compared to being in the pit, sitting on a stage seems pretty easy. Everybody who plays in the orchestra for the operas is desperately trying to work on third ha~d knowledge. You can't see what's going on. You are getting your instructions from a conductor who is desperately trying to organize a bunch of singer.s on stage, and maybe .trying to catch up. We are the last ones to know anything. It's like having somebody put your eyes out, throw you down a well, then tell you there's a fire in the barn and you gotta save the horses. ESP is a good thing to have. ttt SEPTEMBER 1 f 2000 - OCTOBER 7, 2000 Wholenote 35

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